Friday, August 12, 2016

The economics of air and an anti-human ideology

I was engaged in an online discussion about climate change when another writer challenged my comments. When he asked "Perhaps you could start with why you believe you are not responsible to pay Market rent for fossil waste disposal by use of other people's air?" multiple times I though a good response was in order and I have copied it below.
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I get the strong impression that no matter how many highly intelligent, experienced, published and distinguished scientists from a range of fields identified factual contradictions and errors in your ideology it would not matter, so I will switch to the evidently hyper-important question that you have stated ad-nauseum above. It is evident you have no concept of the meaning of economics or freedom or capitalism, or else you would not ask such an irrational question. You might as well ask why you do not pay me for the use of the oxygen that you consume when you breathe. First, there is no such thing as a market rent for what you refer to. Second, what you refer to is not waste disposal but a natural by-product of human civilization and progress, a very mild side effect in exchange for an incalculable benefit, like an occasional headache in exchange for a cure for cancer. Third, other people do not own the air as it does not meet the criteria for private property. More broadly, it is the energy from fossil fuels that has enabled all of the advances of the industrial revolution, enabled your birth, being fed, clothed, housed, educated, your health care, your communications, your transportation and your leisure time. Until the discovery of a commercial means of mass producing energy from fossil fuels, you would have lived a short, diseased, starving, laboring, painful, cold and hot and extremely local life - if you lived at all. The energy from fossil fuels is the industry that underlies and enables all other industries and has been an incalculable good for humanity and has vastly improved your own life, yet you oppose it, perhaps even despise it like many catastrophists. To be fully consistent then, you would have to loathe yourself for owing so much to fossil fuel energy and the intelligent people who produce it. You appear to have an ideology based on looking only at potential harm in the distant future as predicted by computer models. This reduces to a base antagonism against human life and that which it depends upon. My philosophy is based on the irreplaceable value of human life and my standard of value is that which advances human life. I love fossil fuels, but not because the are fossil fuels, but for the wonders they have enabled humanity to achieve and continue to accomplish. As we speak, hundreds of millions of lives are being raised out of poverty and despair through fossil fuel energy. Fossil fuel energy has already solved the problem of world hunger, essentially eliminated the risk to human life from a naturally dangerous climate (deaths due to extreme climate conditions have decreased about 96% in the last 80 years, a period in which most of the fossil fuel in history has been used), enabled a vast division of labour and incredible specialization that has led to incredible wealth for the average person that was unimaginable to kings a hundred years ago. Yet this is what you are against and what you would have us give up - for what and in the name of what? For a life much shorter, poorer and filled with wretchedness where self-declared people who know better than we do dictate to us how we must live our lives. This in the name of the prophets of doom and their dis-proven computer models whose predictions are all over the map and have all over-predicted factual measurements - all in the same direction, because they contain the same false premises. Let the models and their true believers compete on an open betting market for accuracy and let the catastrophists place their bets on the accuracy of their predictions and let's see who loses all their money and who takes it all away. Now THAT would be a real type of market rent - a market for forecasting ability that rewards success and punishes irrationality. My money and the smart money is on the null hypothesis. I have no doubt that thanks to fossil fuels we will discover even better and more abundant sources of energy, but until then coal, gas and oil are the very best we have - and we are getting ever better at discovering sources of them, extracting them and converting them into usable energy that has lower and lower negative effects and greater and greater positive benefits. We now know of enough sources to last about a thousand years and we have just begun to discover how much energy is truly available to minds left free to search, discover, experiment and create. I believe that thanks to fossil fuel powered science we will soon have the use of essentially unlimited fusion power with a density a million times that of oil, that will replace almost all other sources of energy and will advance human progress as much as fossil fuels have already done. Until then, we owe it to ourselves, our lives, our children and those whose societies are still way behind ours to make the best use of fossil fuel energy we can and to continue to improve its use in every way possible.